Feb 20, 2024 - News

Too Good To Go takes a bite out of food waste in Denver and Boulder

A photo of someone holding a cell phone with the too good to go logo with lots of paper bags in the background

"Surprise Bags" offered through Too Good To Go. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Too Good To Go, an app going mainstream Wednesday in Denver and Boulder, aims to save food, money and the planet.

Details: Operating in dozens of cities like Chicago, Miami and Minneapolis, the Denmark-based company lets consumers purchase surplus food from local restaurants at a discounted price.

By the numbers: So far, it's partnered with nearly 100 Denver-area businesses including Local Jones, Rosenberg's Bagels, Smōk Barbecue, Istanbul Cafe & Bakery and Pho King Rapidos, spokesperson Sarah Soteroff tells us.

  • Since its soft rollout in Denver roughly a year ago, the company has saved an estimated 24,000 meals, Soteroff says.

Why it matters: Keeping good food from going bad can help people save money on groceries, businesses retain more revenue, and lower greenhouse gas emissions from food decomposing in landfills.

How it works: People can download the free app to search for places selling a "Surprise Bag" that's filled with leftovers at the end of the day.

  • Surprise bags are reserved through the app and picked up at the store. Prices tend to range from $3.99-$9.99, with deals as high as two-thirds off.

Be smart: The food sells out fast, so set up push notifications for updates about availability.

The big picture: Roughly 100 billion pounds — or 40% — of all food in the U.S. goes unsold or uneaten. That includes Colorado's 1.5 million tons of surplus food in 2022, per data from the nonprofit ReFED.

What to watch: More local businesses are added to the app weekly.

  • Too Good To Go plans to target major grocery store chains like Safeway and King Soopers, Soteroff says.
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